The Second Polish Republic (Pol: Druga Rzeczpospolita) was perhaps the sixth most powerful country in Europe in 1936, but was caught between two rising superpowers — Germany under the fanatical Nazis, and the Soviet Union, the epicenter of Communism. Due largely to limited economic resources, Poland was unable to keep pace with the intense armament efforts of its neighbors. After being the target of Hitler's political machinations, and becoming Poland's friend while weakening the country's independence and ties with France, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany paved the way for territorial demands and, soon, war.
World War II is most often considered to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by the German Reich. Both the United Kingdom, the leader of the Allies, and France guaranteed Poland's independence, and did declare war on Germany. However, no real pressure was brought against the Third Reich. Almost 100 French divisions invaded Germany, but were ordered to halt 1 km from the thin and undermanned Siegfried Line and withdraw to their original positions in the Maginot Line. For 8 months after, the “Phoney War” of minor skirmishes and almost unreal quiet held sway as the allies did nothing. After the war, a German officer remarked that had the allies pressed their offensive then, Germany could only have held out for a few weeks.
The last divisions of the Polish Army capitulated after a month, on the 6th of October; but the Polish Government never officially surrendered. Indeed, their resistance was one of the best organized in Europe, complete with schools and a postal service. The Polish struggle continued on the Western Front with the Polish Fleet and Polish army brigades who evacuated through Romania to France and thence to England.
Polish soldiers played key roles in the war including the Battle of Britain, the Battle of Narvik, and the Battle of Monte Cassino. However, the rise of the “Iron Curtain” and the West-East division of Europe negotiated between the allies and Comintern left Poland a Soviet satellite state, its true independence not to return until the fall of the USSR decades later.
- Main article: Polish events
- Main article: Polish national focus tree
Poland gets a unique national focus tree as part of a free DLC.
The focus tree can be divided into 5 main branches:
- Central Region Strategy - The Four Year Plan
- This branch offers the possibility to develop the nation's infrastructure and factories as well as enabling up to two additional research slots.
- Prepare For The Next War
- This branch has options to keep pace/modernize the Polish ground forces with/ahead of its neighbors.
- Air Base Expansion
- This branch includes focuses which grants several research bonuses to improve. First focus of the branch instantly expands state Capital's airport capacity (Danzig).
- Develop Polish Ship Building
- This branch includes focuses which grants several research bonuses that could potentially specialize or widen the range of ships available for service soon. Includes research bonus for naval doctrine advancements.
- Strengthen The Polish State
- This branch contains various diplomatic focuses and focuses to change the ideology of the government. This branch has mutually exclusive choices that enables the player to forge an alliance or create one of its own.
Poland starts with three research slots.
|Army Technology||Naval Technology||Air Technology||Electronics & Industry|
Poland starts as non-aligned, but with their unique focus tree can easily join any of the main ideologies or even try and remain neutral through the war by starting their own faction.
In the 1936 opening, Poland has to make a decision on what faction to join. In 1936, the Polish Army is stronger than the Wehrmacht so an preemptive attack can be considered especially if France declares war after the reoccupation of the Rhine event. If Poland chooses to join the Allies it needs to be aware of the fact that the brunt of the German war effort will be placed on it. If Poland chooses to join the Axis it has the potential to destroy the USSR. If Poland decides to join the Comintern it will be able to knock out Germany very early on and prevent the Soviet Union from claiming its eastern states. This course of action can be problematic if Poland joins the Axis and Germany takes the "Molotov Ribbentrop Pact" focus.
In 1936, Poland does not belong in any alliances but it can form an alliance with France via decision late 1938. By national focus, Poland can create its own faction called "Międzymorze" (mid-sea/between-seas, a reference to the Baltic and Black seas—at its height of power in the 16th to 17th centuries, Poland's borders stretched from the Baltic to the Black sea. Arguably, the idea of returning to that former glory is part of the national consciousness, especially in the newly re-instituted second republic of the early 20th century).
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Volunteer Only
|| Civilian Economy
|| Export Focus
As well as 37 free slots. 9 Civilian Factories are available for construction duty.
*These numbers represent the available resources for production at start of the game. In the bracket are the complete numbers including those lost for trading.
|28Infantry Divisions||2 Mountain Divisions||10Cavalry Brigades|
The Polish Army (Wojsko Polskie) is based on large infantry divisions as well as small cavalry brigades.
- Infantry divisions are made of 9 infantry regiments + recon company.
- The mountain divisions of 9 mountain regiments + recon comp.
- Finally, the cavalry brigades are made of 3 cavalry regiments + recon comp.
Total: 30 Divisions + 10 brigades
The Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna) is almost nonexistent. It is best to ignore any Naval research unless going for a World Conquest or there is nothing left to do.
|Close air support||22|
The Polish Air Force (Siły Powietrzne) is weak and it would take a lot of time to upgrade, but it is definitely worth upgrading to try and wrest air control from the Germans in 1939..